drank Ginseng Vitality by Teavana
1945 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 122 of the year 2014.

I’ve been making a concerted effort to sip down my less pleasurable herbal and fruit blends, and so I’m happy to report this sipdown. I have had some of this for a couple of nights after attempting to dig out the bottomless tin of TeaG Sleep Tight, and by comparison I prefer the Ginseng Vitality. However, that’s only by comparison.

In a way, it’s a blessing I don’t love this because Teavana has, of course, discontinued it. What is it with them? I’d say they treat their tea blends like car models, but even car manufacturers these days keep the same general chassis design from year to year for a while before a major overhaul. I can understand dropping a blend or two that’s not selling once in a while, but they seem to drop even the blends that get great reviews. I don’t get it. Do they think that the American public doesn’t have the attention span of a three year old? (They could be right about that in some respects. Don’t get me started on what constant bombardment by information has done to attention spans in adults. But still, why contribute to it? There’s so little stability in the world as it is. Maybe that’s why I like companies like Harney & Sons that seem to find things that work and stick with them.)

Anyway, I could rant more because I feel like ranting, but it’s not exactly productive. I think I’ll go do something more productive like watch television.

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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